Marine Biology Programs 

The evening programs of the Marine Biology Section are held from January through April and September through December on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Centre, 949 49th Ave W (49th at Oak), Vancouver. These programs are open to the public and members are encouraged to invite their friends. For more information and suggestions for future programs please contact the Program Co-ordinator Joan Lopez at 604-682-1617.

Thursday, February 8
Exploring Ecological and Social Transformations Linked to Sea Otter Recovery in British Columbia
Jenn Burt

Kelp forests are among the most productive ecosystems on our planet; they are home to an incredible biodiversity of life, and they are important to coastal communities. But kelp forests can also change rapidly as a result of different drivers and pressures. One major driver of change has been the extirpation of sea otters as a result of the Pacific Fur Trade, and their more recent reintroduction and recovery along the northeast Pacific coast. This talk will be a scientific journey that explores the ecological effects of sea otter recovery, highlighting key species interactions (ie: otters, sea stars, urchins, fish) that play a role in kelp forest dynamics on the B.C. coast. You will also hear some stories shared by coastal indigenous people through a unique collaborative project (Coastal Voices) that explores their relationship to sea otters and their experience of the rapid changes that sea otters bring to their coastal territories.

Jenn Burt is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University studying kelp forest ecology and marine planning. Her research focuses on the ecological and social transitions that are occurring as sea otters recover along the coast of B.C.  

Note: Dave Scott's presentation on Fraser River salmon, previously scheduled for this date, has been moved to April 12th 

Thursday, March 8
High Seas Protected Areas
Dr. Rashid Sumaila

 Dr. Rashid Sumaila is a University of BC fisheries economist who has proposed innovative solutions to save the world's wild fisheries. Dr. Sumaila has been awarded the 2017 Volvo Environment Prize for his work. 



Thursday, April 12
Fraser River Watershed & BC Salmon
Dave Scott

The Fraser River watershed hosts a remarkable diversity of wild Chinook, chum, coho, pink and sockeye salmon, all of which rely on habitats in the Lower Fraser. Since colonization, however, the area has undergone a vast transformation, and the quantity and quality of salmon habitats have been drastically reduced. Today, a number of development proposals threaten to push the cumulative effects of human impacts past a tipping point. This presentation will explore the history of our relationship with salmon and their incredible importance to the biodiversity of the Salish Sea ecosystem. As well, Dave will detail the work that the Raincoast Conservation Foundation (RCF) is conducting to protect and restore wild salmon populations.

Dave Scott is the Lower Fraser Salmon Program Coordinator for RCF. He holds a Masters Degree in Resource Management from Simon Fraser University. His work with RCF has included leading the Fraser estuary juvenile salmon research program, working with local conservation organizations on salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser, and submitting evidence as an intervenor in the reviews for the Trans Mountain Expansion and Roberts Bank Terminal 2 projects.